Of two barbershops set in a small Argentinean town, which one would you visit? The shop where the bashful barber’s beautiful wife stared at you lustfully yet scornfully, or the other one? Explain why, and tell us what you think would happen next. Nothing or something?
The amount of story packed into Guillermo Martinez’s two-and-half pages of “Vast Hell” is worth your time today (if you didn’t read the piece when it was first published two months ago) if you in any way love barbers or women or mystery. The story’s title is explained in its epigraph, “A small town is a vast hell. –Argentinean proverb.“